On August Vollmer’s 1935 Crime and State Police

This is the latest installment in the Disciplining the Nation series, a history of urban policing, incarceration, and criminalization in the United States as told through essential and teachable primary source documents. You can read the introduction to the project here, and previous installments here and here. If you’re a scholar of the carceral state and have an illustrative […]

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Digital Documentary History of Police Violence in Detroit—A Review of “Detroit Under Fire”

By Matt Guariglia and Charlotte Rosen The purpose of the Disciplining the Nation project is to make the history of policing, incarceration, and criminalization in the United States more accessible and teachable by highlighting the documents which shaped it. In addition to looking at specific documents, we also want to highlight specific public history projects […]

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On Russell Maroon Shoatz’s “Death By Regulation,” 1997, with Robert Saleem Holbrook, Executive Director of the Abolitionist Law Center

This post is part of the Metropole’s Disciplining the Nation series, where we are spotlighting a primary source that is vital to the retelling of the history of racial state violence and criminalization in the United States. Learn more about the series here. By Charlotte Rosen “I am not under a court sentence of death. […]

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Introducing “Disciplining the Nation”

By Matt Guariglia and Charlotte Rosen  A Teaching Aid and Documentary History of Policing, Incarceration, Criminalization, and Activism in the United States For many years now, the Urban History Association and its conference has served as a type of home base for historians looking to explore and excavate the troubling histories of criminalization, policing, and […]

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Accounting for Medical Examiners in Historical Autopsies of the Carceral State

By Will Tchakirides Following three nights of unrest in the Twin Cities last May, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman charged Minneapolis patrolman Derek Chauvin with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter of George Floyd. Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison upgraded the charges to second-degree murder and charged the other three officers who watched Floyd’s killing with […]

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The Hague Case: A Different View of Police Misbehavior in Pre-World War II America

By Donald W. Rogers, PhD During the winter and spring of 1937-1938, police officers clashed with members and supporters of the Committee for Industrial Organization (CIO) in streets and parks of Jersey City, New Jersey, manhandling demonstrators, punching a few, and bodily expelling others from city limits. Those notorious instances of police coercion contributed to the […]

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Disciplining the City: Scholarship and the Carceral State Year in Review 2020

By Charlotte Rosen and Matthew Guariglia The year 2020 saw one of the largest, if not the largest, protest movement in the history of the United States. Prompted by the police murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade–on top of too many others over the past decades–a Black-led movement against racial state and state-sanctioned […]

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When Conservatives Called to Freeze Police Budgets

By David Helps In 1984, Hollywood resident Jerry Martz wrote the Los Angeles Times to observe a political impasse. With the fear of crime reaching a crescendo, City Council faced calls to enlarge the Los Angeles Police Department to 8,500 officers, which Chief Daryl Gates sloganized as the “8500 Plan.” Martz’s support for police expansion ran up against his fiscal conservatism. Nevertheless, […]

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“History Is The Most Compelling Evidence Police Cannot Be Reformed”: Third UHA Panel Imagines an Abolitionist Future

Last night concluded the Urban History Association’s trio of virtual panels in response to the recent wave of Black-led urban uprisings against racist police brutality and renewed conversation about defunding and abolishing police. The Metropole’s Disciplining the City editors Matthew Guariglia and Charlotte Rosen moderated a discussion with historians Johanna Fernández, Kelly Lytle Hernandez, Marisol […]

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Uprisings don’t create “backlash,” “backlash” is the DNA of America: Second UHA Panel Discusses Urban Unrest from 1943 to Today

🔥🔥🔥🔥@UrbanHistoryA panel on Urban Uprisings and Racist Police Terror in Historical Context with @Prof_Suddler @AustinMcCoy3 @mfkantor and @hthompsn with @CharlotteERosen and @mguariglia moderating pic.twitter.com/UbY4A6pqTw — Marisol LeBrón (@marisollebron) July 8, 2020 In 1973, Detroit’s Stevie Wonder released Innervisions, a groove-filled album that was simultaneously joyous, sharp-eyed, and steely. In its third track “Living for the […]

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